This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was panama.

Topics

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Today being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Southeast AsiaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the privilege and honour to be a member of the Canadian delegation accompanying His Excellency the Right Hon. David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, on his state visits to Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore.

Our three nation tour of Southeast Asia was a valuable opportunity for Canada to enhance our relationships in an increasingly important region of the world. Engaging in what the Governor General referred to as the ”diplomacy of knowledge”, our trip promoted Canada as a premier destination for international students, many of whom will return to their home countries as unofficial ambassadors to promote Canada.

Southeast Asia represents a valuable opportunity for us. It is imperative that we continue to cultivate a closer relationship with countries in the region. Canada could benefit greatly by increasing trade and commerce throughout Southeast Asia. In this time of global economic uncertainty, it is our government's main priority to grow the economy and create jobs.

We will continue to build bridges and promote Canada with our international partners in order to promote mutual understanding and prosperity.

Dean HeywoodStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise today to mention to the House of Commons the passing of a great Canadian, Mr. Dean Heywood, a long-time CBC parliamentary TV cameraman. From Meech Lake to Afghanistan and points in-between, Dean covered the most important stories of the day. He was always the one to get the shot and the picture that others wish they had landed.

As long-time friend and colleague, Ms. Julie Van Dusen, used to say, he always got the shot and knew the story inside and out. He loved his job and he liked living on the edge. His friends also said that he was a bit of a crusty fellow but that at the mention of his family he turned into a big marshmallow.

On behalf of the House of Commons, for his wife, Cheryl, his children, Chris, Jasmin and Duncan, and his entire CBC family, we say God bless the memory of Mr. Dean Heywood, a truly great Canadian.

Diamond Jubilee MedalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians who have distinguished themselves in service to others are being awarded Diamond Jubilee Medals in this, the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.

I have invited residents of my Wild Rose constituency to nominate candidates for this honour. Today I am proud to recognize two constituents who have already received these medals.

Dr. David Chalack received his medal this month from the Governor General. A veterinarian who lives in Cochrane, he is the past president of the Calgary Stampede and well-known for his dedication to animal care. He was inducted into the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame in November.

Harvey Shevalier was honoured by Alberta Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell for his service to veterans. He served in our military and has more than 40 years of service with the Royal Canadian Legion as Alberta/ NWT Command president and president of the Sundre Legion.

I look forward to recognizing many more deserving residents of Wild Rose through the Diamond Jubilee Medal program.

Multiple SclerosisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians live with devastating MS. Tonight, all members will have the opportunity to vote their conscience, to do the right thing and to vote to develop a national strategy for CCSVI.

Sixty countries have undertaken 30,000 procedures, while Canada has failed to even begin clinical trials and failed to even begin collecting data, while 800 Canadians succumbed to MS.

North America's top doctors who diagnose and treat CCSVI, Drs. Hubbard, McDonald, Sclafani, Siskin, et cetera, support Bill C-280, as does Dr. Shannon, former deputy surgeon general, who lived through the restructuring of the Canadian blood system. He considers “the lack of definitive action on the part of governments, government agencies such as the CIHR and NGOs...extremely disappointing”.

Colleagues, as those living with MS say, “you know what the right thing is to do, do the right thing”.

EntrepreneursStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Chungsen Leung Conservative Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to share my appreciation for having had the honour to attend the annual gala of the Canada-Armenia Business Council that took place last Saturday, February 25. The gala truly showcased the spirit of entrepreneurship in Canada.

It is clear that entrepreneurs have the exceptional ability to turn ideas into solid companies and business ventures. They are able to grow by taking risks and by being innovative. There is no limit to what Canadian entrepreneurs can accomplish in today's global marketplace, and now is the time to work together to create a business environment where entrepreneurs can thrive.

Entrepreneurs create jobs and are an integral part of Canada's economy. Our government understands that the economic recovery is encouraged by the private sector and we have and will continue to work with entrepreneurs to make it easier for them to invest and create jobs.

We understand how important it is that the ambition and desire of Canada's entrepreneurs be fostered so that success can be achieved on a global scale. Our future generations will benefit from the consistent and exceptional growth in jobs and revenue that are the direct result of small businesses.

La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, 2012 has one extra day. In a non-leap year, today would be the first day of March, which is the month during which we celebrate la Francophonie. That being said, Mr. Speaker, it is never too soon to celebrate with the 200 million French speakers and the 870 million citizens of the 70 states and governments that are members of the International Organization of La Francophonie. I want to celebrate all francophones and francophiles and everyone who is learning French and discovering a rich, universal culture. I would also like to salute the Auditor General and the Supreme Court justice who, like millions of young students around the world, are spending time learning the language of Molière.

French is not a dead language. French is alive because we live in French in our communities, schools and workplaces. That is why NDP members from across Canada support the bill that recognizes the use of French in Quebec companies governed by federal regulations. Not only will this bill guarantee the rights of Quebec's francophone majority, but it will also enhance the vitality of Canada's Francophonie.

Enjoy the celebration, and long live la Francophonie.

Leap DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again a person in my riding of Kitchener—Waterloo is using innovation, in this case to heighten social awareness. Today is leap day, and Madi MacIntyre, a student at Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in Waterloo, is asking people to put this extra day to good use. She is the inspiration behind 29Leaps, a social media campaign to motivate us to reach out to others with 29 acts of kindness or charity.

Waterloo region has leapt on this idea and momentum is spreading around the world. Over 200,000 individual acts of generosity have been registered on the 29leaps.com website from people all over the world.

I congratulate Madi for showing that everyone has the power to make a positive difference in the world, one step or one leap at a time. With creative young leaders like Madi, the future of Canada looks very bright.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was 20 years ago this week that a most brutal incident in a tragic war took place.

Canada remembers the Khojaly massacre where hundreds of civilians were gunned down by Armenian forces as they fled their hometown in Azerbaijan. According to the Government of Azerbaijan, the death toll was 613 civilians, including 106 women and 83 children. The massacre was one of many atrocities each side was alleged to have committed during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. The war killed over 30,000 soldiers and civilians and displaced more than one million people.

While the displaced have been resettled, 20 years later the Nagorno-Karabakh region is still occupied by Armenia. The border region remains a place of scattered but deadly clashes.

However, there is hope for a peaceful settlement in this long-running conflict. Armenia and Azerbaijan are talking to each other and we encourage them to resolve this dispute at the negotiating table.

Daniel St-PierreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, Daniel St-Pierre passed away on February 2, 2012, at the age of 63, after a devastating battle with cancer. He will be sadly missed by his wife, his brothers and sisters, everyone in his extended family, his friends and colleagues, and the thousands of people who rubbed shoulders with him in the course of his many social commitments.

I would be remiss if I did not rise here in the House to commend Mr. St-Pierre's years of work with co-operatives like the Horisol workers' co-operative, the thousands of hours he put in as chair of organizations like the Fondation-Jeunesse de la Côte-Sud, as well as his invaluable contribution as a Saint-Jean-Port-Joli municipal councillor and as mayor of Saint-Aubert.

The legislative efforts of major democracies would basically be meaningless without people like Mr. St-Pierre who give themselves fully to civil society. So, in defiance of this loathsome killer, which seems intent on taking our best and brightest before their time, Mr. St-Pierre will forever be remembered fondly by the thousands of people who knew him simply as Dan.

I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Michelle Séguin and take this opportunity to say here in the House: Dan, thanks a million.

2012 Scotties Tournament of HeartsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to wish a happy birthday to all the leapers.

I rise today to congratulate Team Alberta on its victory this past week in the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Canadian Women's Curling Championships in Red Deer, Alberta.

Skip, Heather Nedohin, whose home rink is located in Edmonton; teammates, Beth Iskiw, Jessica Mair, Laine Peters, Amy Nixon; and coach Darryl Horne deserve all the accolades for a truly historic win.

Team Alberta's win marks the end of a 14 year drought of Alberta victories at the Tournament of Hearts. After a difficult start, members of Team Alberta proved themselves game after game. Their resolve, poise and focus in the final match ensured they held onto a victory.

This makes me truly proud to be an Albertan and the win is reflective of our western spirit. We aim to win and we keep going until we do.

We wish them the best of luck at the upcoming Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge. There, not only will Edmonton and Alberta be able to cheer them on, but the whole country will be able to root for them as Team Canada. Hurry hard!

First NationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona and I attended the Assembly of First Nations National Justice Forum and witnessed the first nations' commitment to reconciling with the past and moving forward.

Last week, in Geneva, Canada was assessed by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, where the first nations testified about the systemic discrimination they experience. Soon, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will assess Canada and launch an independent investigation into the hundreds of cases of missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

I am calling on the government to co-operate fully in the investigation. The entire world will be watching Canada's actions. Aboriginal women are asking for our help, and all the hon. members of the House have a duty to act in support of the first nations in order to restore justice. As Shawn Atleo, chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said:

The time for study is over. The time for action is upon us.

Oil and Gas IndustryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second largest industry in Ontario is oil and gas and it is growing. Indeed, Ontario's manufacturing sector has, in part, Canada's oil sands to thank for many of its jobs.

Just last month, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said that energy and resource development across Canada offers billions of dollars in new opportunities for Canadian manufacturers, technology, logistics and other service suppliers. As the province has the most manufacturing jobs, this is tremendous news for the province of Ontario. The oil sands create hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, jobs induced across Canada, many of them right here in the great province of Ontario.

Canada's emergence as a clean energy superpower is great for Ontario. It is great for Ontario's manufacturing jobs. As a country, we will continue to diversify our trading relationships and build jobs right here in Ontario.

Pink Shirt DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal caucus is wearing pink in solidarity with all who celebrate Pink Shirt Day in British Columbia today, and were it not prohibited by you, Mr. Speaker, we would be flash mob dancing in the aisle on YouTube with hundreds of kids of all ages from greater Vancouver schools to Lady Gaga's Born This Way.

While April 11 is International Day of Pink, Premier Christy Clark, when she was a CKNW radio host, chose the last day of February to launch a successful B.C. pink shirt campaign to combat bullying, homophobia and transphobia. Pink Shirt Day began in Nova Scotia after a young man was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. His fellow students, in solidarity, bought 50 pink shirts to wear to school. It was a potent act of peaceful defiance and activism.

This morning, hundreds of volunteers hit the streets in Vancouver to raise awareness, sell buttons and promote Pink Shirt Day. At the event was Premier Clark, radio CKNW, the Boys and Girls Club. Gay and transbullying occurs in schools—

Pink Shirt DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Mississauga—Brampton South.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Conservative Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is working hard to ensure that our veterans have access to the benefits and services they deserve more quickly and with fewer roadblocks. That is why just last week the Minister of Veterans Affairs announced the reducing red tape initiative for our veterans. The changes made as part of this initiative will create a more hassle-free system. They will reduced bureaucratic roadblocks while improving service delivery.

We have started modernizing our systems so that veterans can contact us electronically, have implemented direct deposit options to ensure that money flows more quickly and more easily into veterans' accounts, and have revamped decision letters to ensure that information is communicated in a clear and consistent manner. This is just the beginning. Cutting red tape is one more way in which our Conservative government is standing up and delivering for Canada's veterans.

Conservative PartyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I searched high and low but was unable to find Pierre Poutine of Separatist Street in Joliette. What I did find were angry Quebeckers who now know two things: that the Conservatives will stop at nothing to mislead voters and that, given the opportunity, they will use humiliating and offensive stereotypes about Quebeckers.

Why are the Conservative members from Quebec not outraged? Where is the apology to the people of Joliette?

It seems that the Conservatives woke up one morning and were unable to decide whether to break the law or insult Quebeckers, and so they said to themselves, “You know what? Let's do both.”

The people of Joliette deserve better. That is why they said “no” to scandals and the divisive politics of the past. That is why they said “yes” to the NDP team, because the NDP does things differently and represents Quebeckers with respect. We are firmly committed to defeating these Conservatives, who are mired in scandal, and that is exactly what we are going to do in 2015.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has started talking about harsher penalties for people who attack transit workers. Unfortunately, far too often the NDP's position on victims is usually to blame and attack them, as do the members for Winnipeg Centre and Gatineau.

It is unfortunate that the soft on crime NDP do not stand up for victims and have voted against victims several times. For example, the soft on crime NDP voted against the elimination of the faint hope clause for murderers and opposes the safe streets and communities act, which would give a greater voice to victims in our justice system. In fact, the NDP wants to silence victims. Amazingly, the NDP recently urged a well-known victims' advocate to stop speaking about Canada's justice system.

Our government will keep bringing forward legislation that gives victims a voice and keeps our streets and communities safe.

Instead of pretending to support victims, the NDP should step up and start supporting victims.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday on CBC the Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary said that the Conservative party was investigating the allegations of election fraud. An hour later, on Sun TV, he said that the Conservatives were not conducting an investigation. Could the Prime Minister tell us which it is? Are the Conservatives investigating, yes or no?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party has made available, from the beginning, all information to Elections Canada. The Conservative party can say absolutely definitively that it has no role in any of this.

The hon. leader of the NDP should provide her party's information to Elections Canada. Otherwise, I think we just conclude this is simply a smear campaign without any basis at all.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives will actually say anything. They do not know whether or not they are investigating. The Conservatives have admitted to making calls. They say that it was to inform people of changes in polling stations. However, in the ridings in question, there were no changes.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that calls were made in ridings where there were no changes in polling stations?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

February 29th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party has made available all its information to Elections Canada. The Conservative Party did not make inappropriate calls. I conclude that this is just a smear campaign by a party that lost the election.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the NDP gave all the information it had to Elections Canada; we made it public. We will continue to protect the electoral system against trickery and fraud.

What information did the Prime Minister give to Elections Canada? Did Elections Canada receive the RackNine and RMG contracts? Are the Conservatives investigating this matter, or are they ignoring it? What is the Prime Minister hiding?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservative Party has handed over all available information to Elections Canada. It is interesting that the NDP says that it gave information to Elections Canada, because Elections Canada said that there were almost no complaints during the election. These are just stories made up recently by a party that lost the election.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want their government to fix health care, not elections. If the Conservatives won their razor thin majority by cheating, using American style dirty tricks, then they have no mandate. Neither do they have the moral authority to govern.

The kid they thew under the bus now says he did not do it, even though the Minister of Defence said they found the culprit and dealt with it. My question for the Minister of Defence is this: he said the culprit had been caught, but who are they going to blame now? Who is the new fall guy and how far up the food chain does this treachery go?